When moving into an assisted living facility it can be hard to know exactly what to pack – some homes may offer towels and bedsheets while others require you to have them day 1.
Any moving list includes basic items such as clothes, toiletries, pillows, bedding and towels. Seniors can also bring items that will allow them to personalize their living space and make it seem more like home—a favorite chair, for instance, or perhaps a beloved quilt.
Most communities provide residents a fair deal of discretion about what items they can bring into their new assisted living situation. They can bring anything that they would bring into any normal home or apartment—pictures, special furniture, towels, sheets, furniture, desk, chairs, etc.
Some may even allow new residents to bring their pets (as long as they are moving into a private apartment).
Moving Tips for Seniors
Before moving to assisted living you should know what’s already going to be provided.
In general assisted living communities provide a 5-piece bedroom set consisting of:
- Full or twin-size bed with comforter and pillows
- Nightstand with lamp
- Medium-size mirror (and lamp)
- Comfortable sitting chair
- Medium to large dresser
Depending on the retirement home chosen it may also include a television, sofa love seat, and additional dressers/cabinets. If it does not have a private kitchen we suggest bringing your own mini fridge, microwave, and electric kettle for tea or coffee.
Seniors should not be burdened with bringing too many items for recreation and entertainment, since assisted living communities have usual amenities as exercise rooms, swimming pools, yoga mats, communal lounges or even computer rooms.
Senior Living Move In Checklist
While each individual will have a personalized packing list, here is a packing list that could serve as a general guideline:
✅ Clothing – remember to dress for all seasons!
✅ Shoes, socks, slippers
✅ Toiletries (toothbrush, soaps, lotions, etc.)
✅ Prescriptions & medications (some homes offer medication mangement)
✅ Assistive devices (glasses, hearing aids, canes, walkers, etc.)
✅ Bath towels, washcloths & dish towels
✅ Sheets, pillows and bedding
✅ Clothes hangers; shelving or storage units
✅ Basic furniture (chairs, table, desk, nightstand, etc.)
✅ Home appliances (mini-fridge, microwave, coffeemaker, etc.)
✅ Kitchenware (dishes, glasses, cutlery, pots, pans, etc.)
✅ Household cleaners (glass cleaner, bathroom cleaners, etc.)
✅ Telephone or cell phone & charger
✅ Electronics: TV, radio, headphones, stereo
✅ Personal computer, laptop or electronic tablet
✅ Pictures, photos, wall hangings, clock
✅ Decorative pillows or throws
✅ Tabletop accessories (i.e. lamps, vases, figurines, alarm clock, etc.)
✅ Potted plants (live or artificial)
✅ Books and other reading material
✅ Hobbies and crafts (i.e. sewing machine)
✅ Important papers (wills, medical records, financial docs, etc.)
If you expect to have family or guest visit regularly it’s recommended that you bring folding chairs which can be stored in the closet. You may also want to bring a walker or cane – most senior living facilities and nursing homes have rentals in case you forget.
Among items that are not permitted in assisted living are those that can be hazardous. In some cases the facility will require you to use the community toaster, grill, or space heater.